Post Town Spunk Disorder

Day 52

Mileage: 38.5
Total distance: 1547.1

I used to feel really low when I left town as I was bummed to be headed out again with no one to keep me company, but lately I’ve been seeing it in a different way and it has become my favorite days on trail. I usually don’t set an alarm on the days after town and don’t really even have a plan on what I hope to get done that day. I just wake up and walk at whatever pace I feel and let the day create itself. The stress is off and I have more food usually than I could imagine. 


So today was incredible. I felt strong when I woke up at 7:30 and didn’t get moving until 8. I had a huge climb right out of the gate, but kept a solid pace and didn’t really struggle too much with wanting to know where I was on the climb or obsessing about time. 


The climb led me up and around the centerpiece of Crags State Park, which is a gorgeous rock structure that stands above the campground and the small town of Castella. I immediately had incredible views and once again saw Shasta standing majestically off in the distance. 


The creators of the PCT are brilliant in that the way the trail wraps in and out of ranges is the perfect way to around and keep moving north. I love looking back and seeing the trail winding up a hill and then riding the inner side of a range until it find the lowest point to drip over into another bowl of ranges. It’s brilliant. 


Most of the days was exposed and by the end left me with the kind of exhaustion you feel after spending all day at the beach with 15 5th grades and facilitating everything they do. Thankfully I stayed hydrated and was able to do 15 and 12 mile pushes without needing a break. 


There was a ton of diversity today in the color of surrounding mountains with red dirt and grey dirt and just plain brown caking the surface of all the ranges. Some hills were rolling and some had knife shaped edges spiking out of the ground. Some were balds and some were covered in trees. Some had lakes at the bottom and some were bone dry all around. A lot happens in 40 miles and it’s crazy to think back on all that I saw and walked across in only a days time. 


One of my favorite things has become the haze that sets in the valleys around 7:30 pm. The fading shades of blue the ranges are colored as they get further and further from me are gorgeous and the grey fade that rests between them ties the picture up perfectly. 


Tonight I am camped on a saddle between two ridges and sleeping without a bugnet, which seemed like a good idea, but since I’ve started writing there has been a constant hum of a thousand mosquitos hovering above me. I hope the wind picks up or its going to be a long night. 

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